Smith, Alfred (Al) Emanuel

(1873-1944)
   Al Smith, as he came to be known, was born and raised in New York City, where he worked a variety of jobs, including the fish market, having left school at the age of 14. He was involved in local politics at an early age and elected to the New York State legislature in 1903, where he served until 1915. He became Democratic Party leader in 1911 and speaker in 1913. Smith took part in the state factory commission established after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire that killed 146 people in 1911, and he sponsored a number of bills to protect the health and safety of workers, particularly women and children. He was sheriff of New York County from 1915 to 1917 and president of the New York Board of Aldermen in 1917. In 1918, he was elected governor of New York and served for four terms from 1919 to 1920 1923 to 1928. Following his failure to win reelection in 1920, Smith served on the National Board of Indian Commissioners and Port of New York Authority. He also acted as chairman of the United States Trucking Corporation.
   Smith’s time as governor was associated with the continuation of a reform program: limiting the working hours of women and children, improving railroad safety, expanding public education, and reforming state government. He also supported measures to repeal prohibition. In 1924, he failed to win the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination for the presidency. He won the nomination in 1928, but lost the election in part because of his Catholic-Irish background and his opposition to prohibition. However, given the apparent prosperity at the time, Herbert Hoover’s election victory for the Republicans was fairly inevitable.
   Following his defeat, Smith became president of the company that managed the Empire State Building in New York City. Having failed to win the party’s nomination himself, he reluctantly supported Franklin D. Roosevelt’s nomination in 1932 and became increasingly critical of the New Deal for creating what he saw as a class conflict. In 1936, he joined the American Liberty League and campaigned against Roosevelt and in favor of Republican Alf Landon. In 1940, Smith supported Wendell Willkie. Although he supported U.S. involvement in World War II, Smith was given no role in the war administration.

Historical Dictionary of the Roosevelt–Truman Era . . 2015.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Alfred Emanuel Smith — Alfred Emanuel Smith, meist nur Al Smith genannt, (* 30. Dezember 1873 in New York City; † 4. Oktober 1944 ebd.) war ein US amerikanischer Politiker und mehrmaliger Gouverneur des US Bundesstaates New York. 1928 kandidierte er für die Demokraten… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • smith — /smith/, n. 1. a worker in metal. 2. a blacksmith. v.t. 3. to forge on an anvil; form by heating and pounding: to smith armor. [bef. 900; (n.) ME, OE; c. G Schmied, ON smithr, Goth smitha; (v.) ME smithen, OE smithian; c. ON smitha, Goth… …   Universalium

  • Alfred — /al fred, frid/, n. a male given name: from the Old English words meaning elf and counsel. * * * I known as Alfred the Great born 849 died 899 King of Wessex (871–99) in southwestern England. He joined his brother Ethelred I in confronting a… …   Universalium

  • Emanuel — /i man yooh euhl/, n. a male given name: from a Hebrew word meaning God is with us. * * * (as used in expressions) Bach Carl Philipp Emanuel Lasker Emanuel Smith Alfred Emanuel Swedenborg Emanuel Franz Albrecht August Karl Emanuel prince von… …   Universalium

  • Emanuel — (as used in expressions) Franz Albrecht August Karl Emanuel, príncipe von Sajonia Coburgo Gotha Bach, Carl Philipp Emanuel Lasker, Emanuel Smith, Alfred E(manuel) …   Enciclopedia Universal

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  • Alfred Emanuel Smith — Al Smith Pour les articles homonymes, voir Smith. Al Smith en 1928. Alfred Emanuel Smith, Jr. connu sous le nom de Al Smith, (30 décembre …   Wikipédia en Français

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